Do natural remedies help rheumatoid arthritis?
There are many natural remedies that can be safely used for rheumatoid arthritis. Of course not all of them will work for everyone. However it is certainly worth trying all of them because when you find one that does work, you may be able to cut down on your prescription pain relief.
Please always work with your health practitioner and tell them what you are about to try as not all natural remedies work well with drugs and you’ll need to establish that two remedies are not counter indicative before you take them together. This applies to both natural or herbal arthritis remedies and prescription medication.
There are some people who only use natural treatments for their rheumatoid arthritis. Natural remedies may the best route to take if your arthritis is not severe. It’s vital however to be properly diagnosed by a doctor before deciding to do anything, because the disease needs to be managed properly from the start to ensure it doesn’t result in joint damage.
There are several natural remedies to reduce pain and inflammation and some that can actually slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Some people have actually claimed a complete remission simply by using natural treatments alone. However it’s also possible to change over to a natural regime from a conventional one once the disease has been stabilized.
Natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis can include both vitamins and supplements, herbs, diet and lifestyle. Because rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease, diet plays a vital role and is too large to cover here, we’ll look at it in another article. Lifestyle means treating your body well, getting sufficient exercise, reducing stress, resting when necessary and perhaps finding new and better ways to do everyday tasks that will help.
Here are some tried and true natural remedies and treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, gathered over the years. Natural treatments may not have an instant impact, although some do! So have patience when trying these.
Probably the most well known are Omega 3 fatty acids, sourced from oily fish. This is also available in plant form from flaxseed, but fish oil has more of the beneficial ingredients EPA and DHA which act as potent anti inflammatories. Even better, if you can afford it, is Krill oil. This oil has less risk of mercury contamination and also has a potent antioxidant called Astaxanthin which boosts immune system health.
Devil’s claw is another potent anti-inflammatory from Africa. It is especially useful for rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
Boswellia Serata is an Ayurvedic medicine traditionally used for the relief of inflammation and pain. It is very effective and has none of the side effects of medical anti-inflammatories, such as damage to the stomach lining. A good combination of Boswellia and Devils claw can be found here.
The spices ginger and turmeric have anti inflammatory properties and may be safely used for rheumatoid arthritis. Natural remedies like these may be safely used by most people and are frequently found in Asian cuisine. Turmeric especially is especially helpful for acute inflammation.
Comfrey is a herb which has been used for many years to treat swollen painful joints. The root of the plant can be made into a salve which is then applied to the joints. Messy but effective! Comfrey, however should not be used in pregnancy.
Glucosamine and chondroitin can repair cartilage and joints. MSM is an organic compound of sulphur that is also beneficial to joints. These natural ingredients can now be found packaged together and are widely accepted by mainstream medicine.
Bromelain sourced from pineapple and Papain from Pawpaw are both protein eating enzymes and are anti inflammatory in nature when taken in between meals. They are almost completely free from side effects.
Valerian can also be taken for rheumatoid arthritis. Natural remedies like valerian can have sedative properties as well as being useful for pain relief. People with liver conditions, however, should avoid valerian.
White willow bark is an ancient remedy which contains salicin. This is the origin of the substance we now know as aspirin. However white willow doesn’t have the serious side effects of aspirin.
These are not all of the natural arthritis remedies that can be found today, but I suggest trying these first.
Finally I would recommend everyone who has any type of auto immune disease to go and see a naturopath. A naturopath will test for things that a conventional doctor will not. For example there are various toxins that can affect the immune system such as heavy metals and other chemicals.